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Delbonis Ousts Past Champion Bellucci In Vina

Viña del Mar, Chile

Delbonis© Jim Rydell/VTR OpenFederico Delbonis advances to his second tour-level quarter-final.

Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis knocked out No. 3 seed and 2010 champion Thomaz Bellucci 6-2, 7-5 on Thursday at the VTR Open to reach the quarter-finals for a second time at an ATP World Tour event.

The 21 year old, who opened with a win over Vina del Mar-native Nicolas Massu, broke Bellucci four times from five opportunities and dropped serve just once to claim the win in one hour and 31 minutes.

He will attempt to match his best tour-level result, a semi-final run as a qualifier last year in Stuttgart (l. to Ferrero), when he next plays seventh-seeded countryman Carlos Berlocq. The 28 year old dismissed another Argentine qualifier, Diego Junqueira, 6-1, 6-0 in 62 minutes.

Brazil’s Joao Souza curtailed Chilean wild card Fernando Gonzalez’s comeback, beating the four-time former champion  6-3, 7-6(6). The No. 108-ranked Souza converted five of his eight break point chances to clinch victory in one hour and 47 minutes. The 31-year-old Gonzalez has been hampered with a knee injury over the past year and was playing his first tournament since a Challenger event in Sacramento last October.

"That's how tennis works," said Gonzalez. "You never feel the same every day. Today I didn't feel comfortable on court and also Souza played very well and took almost all the chances he had."

The 23-year-old Souza, who is through to his fourth career ATP World Tour quarter-final, goes onto face second-seeded Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela, who was a 6-4, 7-6(2) victor over countryman Horacio Zeballos.

The 32-year-old Chela, who reached the third round at the Australian Open (l. to Ferrer), is through to his third quarter-final on Chilean soil in the past four years (2009, ’11). He is bidding to reach his first ATP World Tour semi-final since September, when he reached the last four in Bucharest (l. to Andujar).

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©Jim Rydell

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